Aboriginal Visual Arts

This program provides you with skill development in the traditional and contemporary crafts of the Mi’kmaq, Wolastoqiyik and Passamaquoddy peoples. You will learn the Aboriginal history of the Atlantic region and work one-on-one with Aboriginal artists.

In addition, the program introduces you to a wide-ranging overview of the foundations of the visual arts. As a student, you will also explore two of the College’s studios: Ceramics, Digital Media, Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Jewellery/Metal Arts, Photography and Textile Design. You will gain hands-on experience via a project-based curriculum with an entrepreneurial focus.

Through applied research, critical discourse and self-reflection, you will engage in experimentation and creative problem solving, learning about written and visual communications for artists and entrepreneurs, art history, drawing and 2D/3D design. Assignments are designed to create a portfolio that celebrates the power of your imagination and can be used to launch your artistic career.

The Aboriginal Visual Arts (AVA) program is completed in 6 semesters from September to June over 2 years. It is unique in Canada for its emphasis on the traditional learning of the Atlantic region — New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

Interested in finding out more?
Contact: The Registrar’s Office, toll free, 1-877-400-1107 or email nbccdrecruiting@gnb.ca

Curriculum Guide
Areas of Study
  • Ash and Birchbark Basketry
  • Quillwork and Beading
  • Drum and Traditional Paddle Making
  • Wood Carving and Sculpture
  • Drawing, Colour, 2D/3D Design Principles
  • Aboriginal History
  • Anthropology
  • Communications
  • Digital Media
Course List

Fall 1

  • AVVA 2909 Aboriginal Media: Beads, Quills and Birch Basketry
  • AVVA 2901 Aboriginal Iconography Mixed Media
  • HIST 2909 Aboriginal Art History
  • ENGL 1000 Writing for Visual Artists
  • DRAW 2904 Drawing: Time and Narrative

Winter 1

  • AVVA 2908 Aboriginal Media: Traditional Ash Basketry and Pottery
  • AVVA 2910 Wood: An Introduction to Shaping
  • HIST 2910 The Land, The Spirit, The Art
  • ENTR 3911 Entrepreneurship: Aboriginal Networking
  • FVAD 1005 Media Explorations

Spring 1

  • AVVA 2903 Aboriginal Media: Individual Exploration
  • AHST 2911 Archaeology: Prehistoric Craft and Culture in the Northeast

Fall 2

  • AVVA 3912 Aboriginal Studio: Making Your Mark
  • AVVA 3910 Wood: From Tree to Product
  • ENTR 3912 Entrepreneurship: Business Planning

Winter 2

  • AVVA 3903 Aboriginal Studio: Refining Your Style
  • AVVA 3911 Myths, Stories and Art
  • ENTR 3121 Digital Communications and Marketing

Choose one of the following four:

  • AVVA 3908 Designing Bodies
  • DRAW 3000 Painting in Acrylics
  • DRAW 3001 Imagery, Sources, and Development
  • DSGN 3001 Creative Design Exploration
  • DSGN 3916 Book Art Design

Spring 2

  • AVVA 3907 Aboriginal Studio: Major
Admission Requirements
  • $50 Application Fee CAD (1)
  • One of the following official transcript of marks (2):
    • High School Diploma (3)
    • GED
    • Adult High School Diploma
  • OR Equivalent experience (4)
  • Interview

(1) The $50 non-refundable application fee applies to Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents, and is  subject to change without notice. International applicants pay a $100 Canadian application fee. See International Students for more information.

(2) If your official public high-school transcript indicates a modified level in English and/or Mathematics, your application will be processed under Special Admissions.

(3) We accept a grade 11 or 12 interim transcript until your final grade 12 transcript is available. The minimum English levels of 122 or 123 are required and Financial and Workplace Mathematics 110 or Foundations of Mathematics 110.

(4) Equivalent experience is determined by the College assessing your combination of learning and experience through recognition of prior learning. If you are 21 years of age and have past experience, you may be assessed as a Mature Applicant.

The College may contact you for an interview, it is important to consider why you want to study with us and your future goals.

Career Possibilities

Here are a few of the many potential career opportunities for Aboriginal artists:

  • Artisan and/or Craftsperson
  • Marketer
  • Business Owner
  • Teacher
  • Painter, Sculptor or other arts
  • Educator
  • Theatre, Museum or Gallery Manager
Instructors & Technicians


  • Dan Robichaud, Coordinating Instructor
  • Judie Acquin-Miksovsky


  • Leigh Merritt
Apply Now

Go to the Admission Requirements to start the application process. This page will also provide more details and info on where to mail your transcript of marks, cash, cheques and/or money order.

Study Aboriginal arts and be part of our family at NBCCD!

New Brunswick College of Craft & Design

Visit Our Campus

The best way to find out if NBCCD is the place for you is to visit our campus for a guided tour. During your tour, you will have the opportunity to chat with instructors, meet current students, see student work and observe in-class demos. Tours are available Mondays and Tuesdays. Contact us at nbccdrecruiting@gnb.ca to schedule your tour today!

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